How to get a personal loan with a 650 credit score

Generally, lenders prefer borrowers with higher credit scores, but some offer loans to borrowers with fair credit scores.

Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as "Credible" below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

Some lenders issue personal loans to consumers with fair credit.  (Shutterstock)

Most people don’t have a perfect credit score — Experian says just 1.2% of all FICO scores in the U.S. are a perfect 850. 

Millions of people have credit scores that are good or fair, and if yours is 650 it’s in the range of fair credit. It’s close to a good score, which is usually in the 670 to 739 range. 

While borrowers with good to excellent credit may have an easier time getting a loan, and qualify for lower interest rates, it’s still possible to get a personal loan with a 650 credit score.

Here’s a look at lenders who issue loans to those with fair credit scores, and what you can do to help ensure you get the best rates available to you.

How to get a personal loan with a 650 credit score

No matter what type of credit product you’re pursuing, it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best rates and terms. Before you take on a personal loan that accepts a credit score of 650, do your research and see which loan will cost you the least in the long run. 

You can apply for a personal loan by … 

  • Researching potential lenders and ruling out any that don’t operate in the state where you live, or that don’t offer loans to people with fair credit.
  • Reviewing each lender’s minimum and maximum loan amount requirements to ensure you can get the loan amount you need without taking out more than you need.
  • Inquiring about the fees charged by each lender you’re considering, such as loan origination fees.
  • Confirming whether the lender charges a prepayment penalty for paying off your loan early.
  • Prequalifying for the loans you’re interested in so you can get an idea of whether or not it’s worth applying and incurring a hard credit inquiry.
  • Once you get your pre-approvals back, comparing the loan amounts, APRs, fees, and repayment terms that come with each loan to determine which is the best fit for your needs and which will cost you the least.

Personal loans for borrowers with a 650 credit score 

While it can be harder to secure a personal loan if you only have a fair credit score, it isn’t impossible. Some lenders offer personal loans for borrowers with a 650 credit score. Besides your credit score, lenders may also take your income and debts into consideration — or they may require collateral to secure a loan to lower their risk. 

The following Credible partner lenders offer personal loans for borrowers with a 650 credit score: 


Best for: Fast turn-around

Minimum credit score: 550

Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000

Time to fund: As soon as the next business day

Best Egg

Best for: Large loan amounts

Minimum credit score: 600

Loan amount: $2,000 to $50,000

Time to fund: As soon as 1 to 3 business days after successful verification


Best for: Direct payment to creditors

Minimum credit score: 600

Loan amount: $1,000 to $40,000

Time to fund: Usually takes 2 days


Best for: Borrowers with credit scores on the lower end of fair

Minimum credit score: 580

Loan amount: $2,000 to $36,500

Time to fund: As soon as the next business day

OneMain Financial

Best for: Borrowers who prefer no credit score requirement

Minimum credit score: None

Loan amount: $1,500 to $20,000

Time to fund: As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch office

Happy Money, formerly known as Payoff

Best for: Paying off high-interest credit card debt

Minimum credit score: 600

Loan amount: $5,000 to $40,000

Time to fund: As soon as 2 to 5 business days after verification


Best for: Borrowers who want to avoid a prepayment penalty

Minimum credit score: 640

Loan amount: $2,000 to $40,000

Time to fund: As soon as 1 business day

Universal Credit

Best for: Borrowers who want free credit monitoring and educational resources

Minimum credit score: 560

Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000

Time to fund: Within 1 day, once approved


Best for: Fast approval decisions

Minimum credit score: 560

Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000

Time to fund: Within 1 day of clearing necessary verifications


Best for: Borrowers with a degree and good job history 

Minimum credit score: 580

Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000

Time to fund: As soon as 1 business day

What’s the minimum credit score needed for a personal loan?

You generally need a good or excellent credit score to take out a personal loan. Having a higher credit score can make it easier to qualify for a loan, and help ensure you get better loan amounts, interest rates, and loan terms. Although your credit scores can vary depending on the credit-scoring model a lender looks at, here’s how credit score bands typically break down:

Exceptional: 800 to 850 

Having an exceptional credit score makes it much easier to be approved for all types of credit products, including personal loans. With an exceptional credit score, you’ll likely receive a lender’s best deal, including its lowest interest rates and fewer fees. 

Very good: 740 to 799 

Similar to an exceptional credit score, if you have a very good credit score, you’ll probably have an easy time qualifying for personal loans at more favorable rates and terms. 

Good: 670 to 739

Lenders generally view people with good credit scores as acceptable borrowers. If your score falls in this range, you’ll likely be able to qualify for most credit products at a reasonable rate. But you may not qualify for interest rates as low as those lenders will offer to people with very good and exceptional credit scores. 

Fair: 580 to 669

Some lenders consider people in this score range to be subprime borrowers. If you have a fair credit score, you may find yourself disqualified for many lending products unless they’re specifically designed for those with fair credit scores. You may only qualify for personal loans with higher interest rates.

Poor: 300 to 579

It can be hard to secure a personal loan if you have a poor credit score, as many lenders consider consumers with scores below 580 too risky to lend money to. Securing a personal loan with collateral or a cosigner can make it possible to qualify, but you’ll likely face high interest rates and fees that make the loan very expensive.

How to get a personal loan with fair credit

Personal loans for fair credit can come with high interest rates, but they’re still an option for borrowers looking for quick funds. You can take some steps to improve your chances of qualifying for a personal loan with a 650 credit score.  

Add a cosigner

Applying with a cosigner who has good to excellent credit may make it easier to qualify for a loan. Because the cosigner agrees to assume financial responsibility for a personal loan, the lender may be more willing to give you a loan with fair credit. 

But not all lenders allow cosigners, and if they do, they prefer a credit score of 670 or higher. The cosigner will need to share pay stubs, bank statements, debt obligations, and other financial information to prove they’ll be able to repay the loan if the primary borrower fails to do so. 

Improve your credit

To qualify for a personal loan on your own, you can also work to improve your credit score. Ideally, you should plan ahead, and begin working on your credit score six months to a year before you apply for a personal loan.

This extra time will allow you to pay off debts, continue to make on-time payments, and take other steps to improve your credit, such as fixing any errors that appear on your credit report.

Here are some steps you can take to improve your credit score: 

  • Pay your bills on time. Always paying your bills on time is one of the best ways to keep your credit score strong and to show lenders you can handle taking on new debt. If you’ve missed any past debt payments, get current on your payments and do your best to stay current.
  • Give your credit limit breathing room. Just because you have available credit doesn’t mean you should use it all. Your credit score could rise if you lower the amount of available credit you’re using. Try to keep your credit usage at 30% or less of your total available credit. Paying off credit card balances is a good way to do this.
  • Keep your credit history long. The longer your credit history is, the better your credit score will be. It’s tempting to close unused credit accounts, but if you aren’t paying a fee for them (like credit cards with an annual fee), keeping them open (ideally with them paid off) can help you build a longer credit history.
  • Only apply for credit you need. Applying for too many credit products can reduce your credit score and cause lenders to worry that you rely on credit too much. Only apply for credit products you truly need.
  • Review your credit reports. Keep an eye on your credit reports and make sure there aren’t any errors on your report that are hurting your credit score. If you find an error, you can work with the credit bureau that issued the report to have the error removed.

Alternatives to personal loans when you have fair credit

If you have fair credit, you may find it hard to qualify for a personal loan at the terms and rates you’d prefer. These are a few alternatives to personal loans you may want to look into: 

  • Peer-to-peer loans — You can pursue a peer-to-peer loan through a lending website. Often, there’s no minimum credit score requirement. Instead, peer-to-peer lenders consider evidence of income and other assets. But this isn’t a great solution if you need to borrow a large amount of money, as these loans generally cap out at $5,000.
  • Borrow from friends or family — Borrowing from a loved one can be an easy and quick way to gain access to cash without having to worry about your credit score, but you do risk causing tension in your relationship. Make sure all parties are on the same page about a repayment plan and timeline before you borrow the money. And be as diligent about making payments as you would for a formal loan.
  • Low-interest credit card — In some cases, a credit card with a low interest rate can cost less than a personal loan. Even if you can’t qualify for a low-interest credit card, the highest credit card interest rate is typically lower than credit products like a payday loan. But it’s important to pay off this credit card every month, or you’ll rack up interest charges and risk hurting your credit if you aren’t able to keep up with the payments.